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HAVE WE DELIVERED? including Russia in joint actions on the regional level, were also among the arguments raised by the EC in favour of the EUSBSR. It also intended for it to be a model of regional cooperation, where new solutions could be tested, developed further, and implemented in other regions. The EC did not propose the form of cooperation itself and has mainly played a role of coordinating, communication, reporting, monitoring, and facilitation, based on previous intergovernmental arrangements. After the European Parliament called for a strategy for the BSR in 2006, the European Council invited the EC to present the EUSBSR, which was eventually endorsed by the European Council in 2009. The project comprises eight EU Member States (Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Sweden) and four partners (Iceland, Norway, the Russian Federation, and Belarus). Thus, it is often described as an intra-EU strategy, in contrast to three macro-regional strategies adopted later—EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR) of 2011, the EU Strategy for the Adriatic-Ionian Region (EUSAIR) of 2014, and the EU Strategy for Alpine Region (EUSALP) of 2015, which all conduct an external policy agenda because of the inclusion of non-EU countries (e.g. Ukraine, Moldova, Serbia, Montenegro, Switzerland). Apart from the Member States and the EC, several other actors are involved in the practical implementation of the BSR strategy, such as regional and local authorities, intergovernmental organisations, and civil society. According to the EC’s definition, a macro-region is “an area covering a number of administrative regions but with sufficient issues in common to justify a single strategic approach”.12 These common issues in the case of the EUSBSR are reflected in three (initially four) named overall objectives: “Save the sea”, “Connect the region”, and “Increase prosperity”, divided into 13 more specific PAs. Besides that, four HAs (“Spatial Planning”, “Neighbours”, “Capacity”, and “Climate”) mark overall goals to be achieved across the PAs. All of them are established by a regularly updated Action Plan, the implementation of which is evaluated regularly by the EC. The implementation concept of the strategy has been evolving over time, but cornerstones were laid at the beginning. The EC did not intend to assign any additional funding nor create new institutions or legislation to make it operate. The idea of using existing EU funds, resources and other instruments more efficiently resulted from the unwillingness to subsidise new, large-scale initiatives amidst the financial crisis of 2008, the beginning of which coincided with the preparations of the strategy. The aim behind the

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Better Together - 10 Years of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region  

Our publication on the 10th anniversary of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region i.a. with foreword from Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputow...

Better Together - 10 Years of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region  

Our publication on the 10th anniversary of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region i.a. with foreword from Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputow...